Where were you when…?

Where were you when you heard/saw the news on September 11, 2001?

There are only a handful of days in our life’s history when we can remember exactly what we were doing and where and when a certain event happened. For me those days include:

1) The day Kennedy was assassinated. (The whole day is like a video I can replay in my brain any time I need to recall it).

2) The first time I had sex with my then-boyfriend.

3) The day I left home to go live on my own in Boston.

4) The day my ex-husband came home from Viet Nam and I met him, along with his parents and brother, at the airport in Washington, D.C.

5a) & 5b) Of course, my two wedding days.

6) The day I walked into my little apartment in Salem and answered the phone to hear my brother say “Rebecca, your Papa is dead!” just like that… no warning or anything!

7) The day OJ Simpson was acquitted of the double murder that he committed!

8) The 11th of September 2001 when this country was attacked.

And I think that’s about it for me. Oh, yes, I can remember other things, but those were all momentous events in my life and for some reason, even though there are whole periods of time for which I have no memory, those always stand out and are crystal clear to me.

So what were YOU doing on 9/11/01?

My story (and I’m sticking to it!) was that I was sitting at my desk upstairs in this house typing medical reports which was my job then. I worked at home doing medical transcription. I had no clue what had transpired that morning until my phone rang around 11 am.

It was my friend Sandy (from Iowa) calling and she was very excited and talking fast and asked me what the heck was going on over on the East Coast? I said that I didn’t know and she then told me what she knew so far… that we were under attack.

I went in and turned on the TV in the other room and saw Tom Brokaw sitting there like a zombie trying to relate the news of that awful day. I started to physically shake.

Then I noticed jets flying all around our skies overhead. I thought, at first, that those were more terrorists trying to attack us here and I shook even more. I needed to get my work typed and brought back to the office so I just pulled myself together, sat back down at my desk, plugged in to my transcription machine, and went to work – completed my typing in about 2 hours and then I was free to put the news back on.

I drove over to the office to deliver my work, about 8 miles from here, and the whole time I kept watching the skies thinking a missile would fall on my car at any second. I was still shaking.

Later that afternoon, after I’d returned home with more work to type, Paul came home from lobstering. I was sitting here watching the news on TV, and we just looked at each other with wide-eyed glazed stares… wow! He didn’t know much at that point as he isn’t in contact with any news while he is out working, but he’d heard something about it, not much. We both sat here and listened to the various news people tell the tale of horror and destruction.

I guess we both thought that our luck had run out finally… living in a safe country had come to an end.

So here it is, the 13th anniversary of that dreadful day tomorrow.

What was your story about that day?


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13 Responses to Where were you when…?

  1. I was recuperating at home from being pushed down the cellar stairs by a client (impulse disorder I was not warned about) when it happened. My husband came home from work to check on me because I did not answer the phone. The event was traumatizing. We lived on Long Island, NY which was about 50 miles from The Big Apple. I was concerned about my friends in the city.
    The summer prior to this when sis and her hubby flew up from Fl. in their little plane we had flown up the Hudson. It was an unsettling feeling after 9/11. Silence seemed to reign.
    Another odd thing that happened was that a neighbor had a white dove that came to her property. It was there for a month. she was trying to capture it so she could bring it to Volunteers For Wildlife (rehab). I’m not sure why they could not come get it but they refused. Just before 9/11 someone ran it over when it was sitting near the curb.


  2. Eric Mayer says:

    Not much of a story. We’d moved into this house three months before and found we had barely any television reception. We hardly ever watched television and weren’t about to get cable. Looking at the Internet when we got up we saw something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. Some sort of weird accident it seemed. So we turned on the television for whatever fuzzy picture we could get and of course got to see the planes hitting again and again. One of the last times we watchde news on television.


  3. I was home, when the elderly man across the street called me to ask me what to do about the crisis. I was the the Neighbourhood Watch person, he had been in a concentration camp during the second world war, and was thrown way off balance by the news. I calmed him, and called him later to see how he was doing. I also called my executive sister to see if she had been in New York at the time, thankfully she had not. That same week I found out that my other sister had cancer, that my husbands health benefit contributions had been “borrowed”, some might say embezzled by his employer, leaving us without health benefits, and that my ex was using something my teenage daughter said to sue me (he lost, she was horrified). It was a memorable time.


  4. Karen DiCicco says:

    I too don’t believe Diana’s death was an innocent accident. Ml5 or 6, was behind this. The Royal Family could not bear it if she had married Dodi Fayed. I think it was like when Henry the 2nd, let everyone know he wished Thomas A Becket dead and then he was, without the king lifting a hand. I don’t think Charles was in the know. He was a hapless dupe.


  5. Bonnie says:

    Once again I was shoving a sweeper around the living room as I was the day a man at our Fiesta parade opened fire on the crowd. My husband was driving rental cars for Hertz was out of the city and I was worried as we had no cell phones, no way to reach him.

    I can’t even imagine living as close to the area as you were Bex.


  6. Bex says:

    I am humbled by your generosity Rebekah.

    And BTW, thanks for joining our little family in here… I don’t blog every day but often enough so you know I’m not gone…


  7. I was out of work and coming home from the doctor’s, trying to reach a friend who lived in Quantico, not knowing that we had been attacked. Of course I couldn’t get through.
    Got home and, of course, L’Empress was crying.
    I can’t believe you worked. She headed to work as well. When the second Tower fell – and I’m crying even as I type this – I did something I’d never done before or since: I called my mommy at work and begged her to come home. She came.
    The next day, after I’d tracked down loved ones in New York and had calmed down, I called the American Red Cross. They were great; I even got to do two weeks in New York, as secretary to some of the best nurses in North America.


  8. sandy freel says:

    The USA has never been the same since this happened…it was a very sad time in our history.
    I remember calling you…yes I talk fast when I trying to tell something.
    I was glued to the tv for days…we don’t have tv now so if something happened it would have to be on computer to watch.


  9. Irene Bean says:

    I was living in Laguna Beach, CA. We had just awakened when the phone rang and my daughter frantically informed me that her Aunt Melanie was okay. I was confused.

    We weren’t morning TV people so were oblivious until my daughter called.

    The world has been ever so much more broken since those attacks.


  10. Bex says:

    Harriet – I never saw that entry of yours. Some I remember on your list and some I don’t. Well, I remember them but not exactly what I was doing when I learned of them.

    When Princess Diana died it was a Saturday night. I had stayed up later than Paul watching something on TV so he was asleep when it came on TV that she’d had an accident. I listened to the TV report for a while but finally it was so late I went up to bed. I had a small radio w/headphones next to my bed so I plugged into that and after a little while, the announcer said Diana had died of her injures. I had been so upset that whole time just knowing about the accident that I never thought she’d die! When I heard that I choked and burst into tears, waking Paul up immediately. I was a big fan of Diana so this hit me hard. I was sure that the creep she was married to (and from whom she was then divorced) had planned and plotted for this to happen. I still don’t think it was an “accident.”

    The Challenger explosion happened when I’d come home for lunch (I lived 2 blocks from the hospital where I worked) and I walked into the kitchen, the phone rang and it was Paul (we’d just started “dating” a few months before this and weren’t married yet) and he said “turn on the TV! The Challenger just blew up!!” So I stood there with my little 5″ mini-TV on with rabbit ears, with Paul still on the phone, watching the replay of it… so awful.. We both cried together over the phone.


  11. Bex says:

    Karen, first, let me say “thank you” for your service to those dogs who need help and rescuing.

    Sometimes our pets, whatever type or breed or specie, can do more for us than any human being. Without words they can calm us, soothe our nerves, and let us know of their unconditional love, even in those horrifying times likes these.


  12. l'empress says:

    The event was important enough that the questions has been asked several times.
    I direct you to the first entry on the subject(s), posted in 2004.

    Where were you when….


  13. Karen DiCicco says:

    I was getting a haircut & color when I first heard what was happening. I had a new Collie to pick up at 1pm, who needed a new home with a family. After that I was outside often with Boots”the newly named Simon.” No one called and I never thought to call my husband. That evening we sat watching TV over and over again, with our new dog and the others.
    I credit my late Simon who died at age 12, with helping keep me on track when the world was going crazy and no one knew what the days ahead would hold.


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